Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ever Reforming and Politics

Douglas Baker wrote in the BPNews:

Pragmatically, the conservative resurgence could be in trouble. The prevailing ethos of the day held by critics of the Southern Baptist Convention is that the modern conservatism of the SBC holds no specifically theological ideas –- only political ones -– which are not worthy of serious consideration by the thinking class. Could this be true? Many critics say the level of preaching by “conservative” preachers across the SBC all too easily resembles something between an Anthony Robbins self-help seminar and a used-car salesman peddling his latest deal.

I think he is right on. With preaching being mainly topical and Osteenish, men will continue to see the Gospel as a politcal tool to change laws or a self help guide to help us live our daily lives. The idea of Law and Gospel actually being preached, the idea that men are to have their sinfulness exposed by the preaching of the Law, the idea that theology even matters is completely foreign in a church that claims to believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.

Exegetically based theological moorings are needed to continue into the next century. With the rise of post-modernism, men will simply not be able to hear a gospel that looks and mirrors the religions of men. The shepherds of God's flock must return to sound exegetically based expositional preaching.

Without "Sempre Reformanda" we will continue to use teaching methods that implicitly teach people how to falsely interpret Scripture. The Bible is often used as a pretext. How often have we heard John 3:16 or 2 Peter 3:9 from our pulpits? Yet has anyone honestly ever heard an exposition of these texts? Aside from my own preaching, I can honestly say I have not.

Our preaching and teaching needs to always be exegetically based. In this way, perhaps God's people will intuitively learn how to read Scripture and to listen to the voice of her Shepherd.

For years now, the Jerry Falwells have been engaged politically. They are even now beginning to align themselves with Senator McCain. McCain is simply a politician who will say and do anything to become President. Why would conservatives kiss up to a man who has sought to destroy the First Amendment and to alienate religious conservatives from the public sphere? Why would they allow a man like McCain to speak at a Christian college's graduation ceremony is beyond my comprehension.

Then again, these are just symptoms of a church gone awry at the foundation.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Caner Brothers To Debate the Calvinists

It has been well said that the Calvinistic resurgence within baptist circles is not going away anytime soon, and wishing it away or preaching against strawmen from arminian pulpits will not stop the trend. I am convinced the more Adrian Roger style preaching occurrs the more those who love sound Biblical exegesis will wonder why all the fuss. The more Liberty University types attempt to "purge" Calvinism from their baptist schools and churches, the more the debate will ensue.

The more the Caner brothers attack the Reformed faith, the more attention to their shallow argumentation they give. Thereby they have found themselves in a position I do not think they truly desired. In October the Caner brothers are going to debate Tom Ascol and James White (more info here).

You might be asking why I think the Caner brothers truly would not want such an interaction. I simply will link you to an e-mail discussion between James White and Ergun Caner. Click here. Ergun Caner clearly has no idea what he is talking about.

So many people have told me over the years that they can see both sides of the debate. The Calvinist has verses that seem to be Calvinistic. The Arminian quotes passages that seem to be Arminian. So the average layman scratches his head.

I think the reason is simple. The Arminian points to 2 Peter 3:9 and says, "See, God wants everyone to be saved." Yet he does so without any exegesis. It is simply assumed and repeated so often that a passage about the Second Coming is used in defense of a soteriology that is unbiblical, and never interacts with Reformed interpretations. (Yes, reformed people do deal with the so-called difficult texts.)

The strength of the Reformed position is exegesis. I hope the Caner brothers realize this quickly before they arrive "at the New Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia."

Monday, March 27, 2006

His Mercy Is New Everyday

Yesterday was a big day. I was able to go to First Baptist in Garden City, KS and preach on John's prologue. It was very good to see God working through His people in other places. Hopefully I was able to encourage them to continue in God's work and remain faithful to God's calling.

Shortly after my family arrived back home my EMS pager alarmed. A report of a drowning at an address that happened to be my wife's cousin's house. They have a two year old, and my wife quickly began to melt when the thought of who it might be occured to her.

My worst fears seemed to be realized when I saw my relative holding her child. I quickly asked if the child was breathing. The answer..."Yes". I quickly escorted the patient into the ambulance, and we were on our way to the hospital in moments. Then I noticed something. The child was looking at me. A little blue but crying and alert. The child even became a little upset when I gave him oxygen. It turned out that he was just fine.

Just like one of the greatest songs of all time, God's grace taught my heart to fear. God's grace also relieved them. God was merciful to our family yesterday. His mercy is so overwhelming that I feel like there could be nothing more God could possibly give me. Now I see what the Scriptures mean when it speaks of His mercies being new everyday.

"Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:22-23

Thursday, March 23, 2006

How About Campoloism Instead of Christian

Finally, a Christian peacemaker called into Rush's program and tried to explain his beliefs. He expressed the idea that through non-violent means, peace could be achieved because that is the way Jesus did it. Another Christian Peacemaker said that Muslims are our brothers, so therefore we need to try to make peace with them.

The problem with a lie is that there is always some truth mixed in. It is true that Christians are to use the weapons of warfare given to them by their Savior. Weapons such as prayer and faith and righteousness and truth are the means to victory. The kingdom of God is to advance through nonviolent means. Is that what the caller is talking about?

I suggest these so-called Christians remove the term Christian from the name and call themselves Campoloites. Perhaps Campoloism should have 501 status with the IRS. In this way, confusion and obfuscation could be avoided.

These Campoloites desire to combat evil in the world. The problem is that they see the United States government as being the evil in this world. Terrorists are the way they are because of us evil Americans. The United States Government will achieve peace when there is victory. God uses the Law and the power of governments as a means to maintain peace.

Biblical peace with God however will never be achieved through Campoloism or Government intervention. The idea of calling Muslims "brother" is not a means to true peace. Muslims will never be a Christian's brother. Christians will only reach peace with the Muslim world through the proclamation of the Gospel and the work of the Spirit in the conversion of sinners. With Campolo's view of conversion, I would not hold my breath peace will be achieved anytime soon.

Can anyone imagine Jesus coming to do "sit-ins" for peace? Is Jesus some kind of 60s flower child? I am not saying that non-violent protests have no place, but are we really going to hold a position that says force is never necessary?

These people claim that we can not force moral decisions like abortion upon people because they are religious views, but then they desire to force their religious views upon the state. In other words, they are equating the Kingdom of God with the United States Government. Therefore (they think) the U.S. should act in a fashion that reflects the (liberal) church in welfare and other left-wing programs. Is the U.S. Government the church?

Paul taught that one of the means for governments to maintain peace was by the power of the sword. Jesus claimed that He did not come to bring peace but a sword. Until peace is defined, there will be much confusion among those who think Campoloish.

These Campoloites think Jesus will only bring peace through peaceful means. I wonder what they will think when Jesus returns and by force of war cast out of his Kingdom everything that is sinful? Will they abandon Jesus when they see His so-called violent means for peace?

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Smartest Man In the Room Is Largely Unknown

A great example for the necessity for presuppositional apologetics.

In today's Crosswalk Blog Albert Mohler dismantles arguments against Christian Scholarship. In fact, you can not have true Scholarship without Christian presuppositions.

There is more gray matter in one inch of his head than in a dozen of mine. Thank God for solid Christian men who engage the enemies of the faith.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

ABCPSW Votes Next Month

Last September the ABCPSW (American Baptists churches Pacific South-west) announced that they would be no longer sending monies to the ABCUSA. In response "the denomination’s Executive Committee called for unity..."

Will someone will please explain to me what the call for unity means? Does it mean "Please agree with us."? Do I have to be liberal in my theology. Do I have to agree with Tony Campolo? Do I have to embrace heretical views too?

They also stated:
The General Board ... does not set policy for local congregations on theological or other issues. We are not hierarchical or Episcopal because we are a denominational family related by a series of voluntary covenantal relationships among autonomous congregations to partner together in mission,” the statement said. The board also cited its respect for the “autonomy and primacy of the local church.
No theological issues are set? Does this mean Mormon churches can join us too? They say Jesus is Lord. Isn't that enough? This is the problem when there is a lack of Creeds and accountability. When denominations are looking for numbers as a sign of success, then they are doomed to take the wide path.

No one is arguing that the autonomy of the local church must be violated. The question still lingers. Should any local church be allowed to be a part of the ABCUSA? What is implicit in the above statement is that the New Testament is not sufficient in defining the church. I guess in ABC theology anything goes?

I would highly suggest to the ABCUSA that they need to take a hard look at what they are doing. Giving prominence to liberal leadership while many of the congregations are conservative is only asking for more trouble.

Theological liberalism and conservatism cannot co-exist. Why do conservatives try to reform something not reformable is beyond me? But is simply pulling out without setting a clear purpose a responsible decision? What will prevent theological liberalism from rising again in their newly forming group?

I am currently on a Reformed Baptist E-mail List. I am always amazed at the things they argue about. The Impeccability verses the Peccability of Christ. The Imputation of Christ's righteousness. How Elders of the local church should rule. The mode of baptism is sometimes discussed. They never however discuss whether homosexuality is something to be debated. The simple reason is they abide by a clear statement of faith, which is the London Baptist Confession of 1689.

I am not saying modern baptists need to adopt that creed, but without something that defines a covenantal fellowship of churches, will not the gross errors of the ABCUSA reoccur?

On April 29th, the ABCPSW will vote on whether or not to leave the ABCUSA. This is no small event in the life of a denomination. I would ask for those who are in Union with Christ to pray that the Spirit of God would lead His people through such a difficult matter. It is no easy thing to sever covenantal relationships.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Meet Our Son

With the wonders of modern technology, we can now peek into the world that was once hidden. A world that God uses to literally make miracles. Everyone, please meet who we think is Jacob.

The left picture is his legs. Yes, that is either a turtle or umbillical cord or....

He is either yawning or swallowing fluid. Those hands sure keep mom busy. At one point, he actually looked like he was waving as he was driving by in that convertible.

Steph is at 21 weeks. So I suppose we had better get the house ready for this little boy.

We did take the kids out of school so that they could see this with us. Steven was so excited that the baby is a boy that his head about hit the ceiling. I think Rachel will benefit being the only girl, and I think she knows it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Private Property Not Fundamental In Garden City

Over the last few days there have been several radio commercials promoting a bill in Kansas that will defend Private Property Rights. I have found this very encouraging. I am amazed at how fast a man's blood will boil when he discovers a government taking property illegally.

This morning on Argi-Talk radio AM 1030, I was shocked to hear that the municipality of Garden City, KS sent a letter to the Kansas legislature asking them to "preserve their right" of eminent domain for "economic development". The three guests were just a little hot under the collar discussing a city that thought it had some Constitutional Right to take one person's property and give it to another for "economic purposes".

The Framer's of the U.S. Constitution knew Private Property Rights were absolutely fundamental in order to maintain a free republic. These truths are self evident. If they are denied, then so goes this great republic. This is the problem of embracing secularism. Secularism cannot defend itself against the cultic mind and tyranny of Islam, nor can it remain friendly to the Constitution.

Christianity must be the worldview of our governments. For only with Historic Protestant Christianity will true freedom reign in this great land.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Another Reason For Presuppositional Apologetics

Remaining faithful in times of apostasy is a difficult thing for Christians. Our desire to see people come to faith in Christ can at times cloud our judgment. We so intently desire to see conversions that we unwittingly give in to worldly thinking.

On AOMin's blog, Dr. White speaks at length of a former student, who has departed the faith. The former student is quoted on a Blog as saying:

Atheists are the true worshippers of the true god, The God Who is Not. Our praise to her comes in our refusal to debase her by connecting her with backwards, morally-bankrupt world religions or with this uncaring, painful universe. Our thoughts of her are too high. We are better, more faithful worshippers than any religious person who profanes the concept of the true god by associating it with their hideous faith.
Notice he says that Christianity is morally bankrupt. On what basis does an atheist make this claim? Where does his knowledge of morality arrive from? How does he account for the laws of logic that he is using in his statements (not that he is consistent even there)?

To deny truth and the truth that is found in Christ is to be in folly. It is arrogant to think man can find his way without the one who created him. Christ is the Creator and the fountain head of all truth.

I am glad to see solid Christian men, who stand on the truth and for the truth. It would be very tempting for most pastors to try to reason with this man using human wisdom. We must trust the Gospel to be the power of God unto salvation. God is only honored when His Gospel is proclaimed with clarity and honestly. To do otherwise is to not trust the clear commands of Christ.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, not the end conclusion.

Monday, March 13, 2006

McCain/Feingold Especially McCain Needs To Go

So Senator McCain is now going to court conservative leaders including religious conservatives. I find it ironic that those who pass laws restricting free speech specifically protected by the First Amendment would then snuggle up to the men they muzzled.

Was it not enough for President Johnson's gag rule by giving the IRS power to revoke non-profit status from preachers who take a political stand in their pulpits? Now we have the First Amendment "chucked under the bus" with the McCain-Feingold Act. It literally restricts free speech with devastating effects.

Just a little history trivia to remind us all of something. There would be no First Amendment if it were not for preachers! There would have been no Revolution if it were not for preachers! The Constitution is not a suicide pact!

Perhaps the conservative party should chuck McCain under the bus.

I wonder what the world would be like today if there was a McCain/Feingold law in the days of say...1776?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Working With Apostates?

Today I have received my ABMen's Men-In-Action. On page 4 is an article "A Word from your President: The Dividing Issue of Human Sexuality." There is no name attached to the article so this will simply be an open response.

I was encouraged to read that the author believed what is written in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is true, and that Paul accurately describes sin. He states in the third and final paragraph that the Scriptures are " read and understand....So the question at hand is, are the Scriptures true or not?" He then asks for American Baptists to not argue about things that take us away from Jesus.

He is right that we need to believe what God defines as sin. The problem is that he misses the point. Liberals within the denomination do not believe God has defined homosexuality as sin. Liberals use arguments in order to obscure the text of Scripture.

Therefore the President (of ABMen I presume), has naively thought that by just saying, "Let's just all get along and preach Jesus" will somehow unite us. False teachers will not unite. They are not even able to define sin. Grace is something that frees us from social problems and social injustices (homosexuality being one of them). Therefore the Gospel in inherently weakened or denied.

In my own area, there American Baptist churches who are wondering how to deal with a denomination that allows any church to go in any direction pertaining to this issue. How do we yoke ourselves with churches that deny the clear Law of God? Why do we remain yoked with them? We are told the autonomy of the local church can't be overruled. This is true. But does that mean we must work with Apostate churches? Is this glorifying to Jesus when pastors will not stand for the truth? Why work with Liberals who redefine Jesus as just someone who wants to help out with our social problems?

A call to Pastors to embrace the inerrancy of the Scriptures would be a good place to start. The Chicago statement of faith would be a good direction. Perhaps a statement of faith or Creed that is clearly defined to discourage false teachers would help. I won't hold my breath though.

Ronald Nash Enters His Rest

For those of you who keep up with apologetics at all, a brother in Christ has gone to be with the Lord. Dr. Ronald Nash passed away yesterday.

Over the years I have benefitted from his articles. I also own a book that I need to finish (that seems to happen a lot around here), "Life's Ultimate Questions". It is a beginners book in the area of philosphy. It surveys the history of philosophy, and it's importance to Christianity and western civilzation.

May the Lord bless this brother's family with peace that only Christians possess.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Myth of Neutrality

Over the last several months I have had several conversations with different people on the importance of Presuppositional Apologetics. So often, the enemies of the Faith require Christians to surrender their beliefs in order to argue facts on "Neutral Ground". Yet these kinds of conversations almost always lead to dead ends.

For many years now, whenever an evolutionist argues creationism with me, or when a person , who denies the resurrection of Christ, asks me to "prove it", I always now ask upfront, "What kind of argumentation or evidence is needed for me to persuade you to faith in Jesus Christ?" To this day, I either get a ridiculous answer, or no answer at all. The reason is simple. The idea of "Let's be neutral as we look at the evidence or argue philosophy is a huge myth.

Several years ago I heard a debate between atheist Stein and Christian Greg Bahnsen. For the first time, I heard presuppositional apologetics applied in a way that I only could do in the most infantile way. So after these several years, I finally got Bahnsen's book, Always Ready. I have only read the first three chapters. Instead of giving my thoughts, I thought I'd quote several key portions that may get you to buy it too. Every Christian layman that engages in evangelism and wants to explain his beliefs clearly will find this book a good place to start. (I realize I haven't finished the book yet, but I have surveyed it.)

"Is it really necessary to hold to the teachings of the Bible if you are to understand properly the War of 1812, the chemical composition of water, the plays of Shakespeare, or the rules of logic?"--pg 3

"...he must staunchly refuse to acquiesce to the mistaken demands of neutrality in his intellectual life; he must never consent to surrender his distinctive religious beliefs 'for the time being,' as though one might thereby arrive at genuine knowledge 'impatially.' The beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord."--pg 7

Those who wish to gain dignity in the eyes of the world's intellectuals by wearing the badge of 'neutrality' only do so at the expense of refusing to be set apart by God's truth."--pg 7

"Therefore, the Christian who strives after neutrality in his thought is found actually to be endeavoring to efface the fact that he is a Christian! By denying his distinctive religious commitment he is reduced to apostate thought patterns and absorbed into the world of unbelief. Attempting to find a compromise between the demands of worldly neutrality (agnosticism) and the doctrines of Christ's word results in the rejection of Christ's distinctive Lordship by obliterating the great gulf between the thinking of the old man and that of the new man."--pg 9

"Do you have the courage of your Christian distinctives in scholarship, apologetics, and schooling, or have you been trying to wipe out the contrast between Christian thought and apostate thought by following the demands of neutrality?"-- pg 9

Jesus is the Creator. He is the Sustainer of all things. He is the truth. Men are sinful and always surpressing truth. We simply can not deny these truths when attempting to proclaim the Faith to the world.

I simply could not even attempt to be able to teach this well. I am thankful that in each generation God has given us godly men to encourage the body of Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What Is In Your Hand?

OK. I have finally stoppped being lazy long enough to record Pastor Livingston's sermon, "What is in your hand?" Keep in mind there is a slightly edited break. He read the Scriptures during the Scripture reading time, but he first gave context and then had the people read in unison. You will then hear a slight break as he goes into the sermon portion of the service.

Here is the link. I will try to get a web page up soon for those of you who are MP3 geeks.

God Bless

Monday, March 06, 2006

Purpose of Law

Today Rush read an editorial on the issue of abortion. The editorial argued that making laws restricting abortion was counter-productive. It provided statistics showing that where laws were passed to restrict abortion only caused the number of abortions to go up.

ABC News Journal at 5 O'Clock gave an opinion that states with seatbelt laws was a good thing. The opinion cited statistics showing that states that have seatbelt laws actually reduced the number of deaths, and it also demonstrated that simply having the laws caused more people to actually wear their seatbelts.

So I have to ask the left-wing media, why cite statstics at all when making laws? If in one law you are arguing that laws only make things worse, why have them? How then do you opine that laws are good when they suit your purposes? Wouldn't that just cause people to disobey you? Should I just stop wearing my seatbelt because I'm in rebellion to the state?

I simply do not accept the premise of the Left's thinking in this country. Laws are not written for convenience sake. They are not to be written because of the whims of man. To be honest, I am not sure why the Left in this country wants Laws at all. They simply have no foundation for them whatsoever.

Laws are a reflection of righteousness. They are written to enforce what God has revealed to be right and wrong. Without God as being the foundation for Law, you are simply left with, "Might Makes Right".

I believe a nation that wishes to be blessed by God must have the Ten Commandments as it's foundation. So my challenge to the Left in my community still stands. A public debate at our nice giant brand new High School on the question, "Was Judge Roy Moore in Alabama violating the First Amendment by keeping the Ten Commandments in his court room?"

Any takers? I didn't think so.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Calvinism In History

Years ago I read the Declaration of Independence and noticed that it seemed extremely Calvinistic. Was Jefferson a Calvinist? No. For years the question has always bugged me. Although I am only just finishing chapter 2, Nathaniel S. McFeteridge’s book, Calvinism in History: A Political, Moral and Evangelizing Force, I am ever more convinced that D. James Kennedy was right when he said, “John Calvin is considered by many historians to be the father of our country.”

It is clear from the book that Jefferson borrowed from Mecklenburg's Declaration (a document written by Calvinists) to write the Declaration of Independence.

The book was first published 1882. Therefore there is some difficulty with some archaic language that is used, but if you are an American history buff, you will greatly appreciate chapter 2, Calvinism as a Political Force In the History of the United States.

I have known for many years that the Revolution would never have happened were it not for preachers preaching sermons to take up arms in defense of religious liberty. I simply did not know that the overwhelming number of preachers that did this were Presbyterians and Calvinists. In a letter written by Charles Inglis, a rector of Trinity Church and one who opposed the Revolution (as almost all those who were Episcopal in their view of government), stated:

“I do not know one of them (the Presbyterian clergy), nor have I been able, after strict inquiry, to hear of any, who did not, by preaching and every effort in their power, promote all the measures of Congress, however extravagant.”

Yes, it was the Calvinists that opposed those who were Episcopal in their view of church government. The Episcopal form led to monarchies and despotism, while Calvinism led to Republicanism.

Although there is much to say I will close this post with a quote from the end of the chapter:

“It has ever been a mystery to the so-called liberals that the Calvinists, with what they have considered their harshly despotic and rigid views and doctrines, should always have been the staunchest and bravest defenders of freedom.”

“It [Calvinism] intensifies, beyond all examples, the individuality of man, and shows in a clear and overpowering light his responsibility to God and his relations to eternity. It points out man as entering life under the weight of a tremendous responsibility, having, on his march toward the grave, this one sole solace—of securing heaven and escaping hell.

Thus the Calvinist sees man pressed, burdened, urged on, by the most mighty influencing forces. He is on the march for eternity, and is soon to stand crowned in heaven or to lie sweltering in hell, thus to continue for ever and ever. Who shall dare to fetter such a being? Get out of his way! Hinder him not, or do it at the peril of your own soul. Leave him free to find his way to God. Meddle not with him or his rights. Let him work out his salvation as he can. No hand must be laid crushingly upon a creature who is on such a race as this—a race whose end is to be eternal glory or unutterable woe for ever and ever.”

Soli Deo Gloria

New Interim Pastor

Pastor Paul Livingstone and his wife Joy arrived this week at First Baptist. Pastor Paul gave a great message this morning and deserves a pat on the back for keeping the ministry at First Baptist going without missing a beat. His pastoral prayer was simply excellent. The congregation could certainly say Amen with him.

The gist of his sermon was, "What is in your hand that God may use?" Reading the account of Exodus 3 and giving some historical backround and exegesis, he then proceded to give application. Almost all of his illustrations were Scriptural. God was still speaking to His people this moring.

Hopefully I will be able to get a web page up for Pastor Livingstone and get his sermons recorded to MP3 format. I think Scott City has been blessed with a good interim minister, who loves the Word of God and loves God's people.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Can You Blame Them?

I am not sure why the Jerusalem Post originally wrote an article saying that Jerry Falwell believed that non-Christian Jews could go to heaven without believing in Christ. Falwell responded by publishing a public response. If you will pay close attention to Falwell’s comments in his public statement, it seems to say what he was denying.

While I am a strong supporter of the State of Israel and dearly love the Jewish people and believe them to be the chosen people of God, I continue to stand on the foundational biblical principle that all people — Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Jews, Muslims, etc. — must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to enter heaven.

Notice he says they are the “chosen people of God”. I am always amazed what the New Testament says about national Israel verses what many Evangelicals say. It is true that in the flesh, national Israel had the promises and covenants. Paul however teaches in Romans chapter 9 that there is a new Israel. To say that they [national Israel] are God’s chosen would be to assume there is still some covenant binding God to them. The statement states clearly that both Falwell and Hagee deny such a covenant exists.

Again, I do not follow this teaching of “dual covenant” theology and I believe it runs counter to the Gospel.

He then says:

I want to reaffirm that I am a Zionist in terms of Israel’s entitlement to its homeland.

Entitlement? Would that not mean the Old Covenant is still in force? I agree that God may ingraft national Israel back into the promises (as defined by the New Covenant) of God as possibly predicted in Romans 11. The point of the New Testament however is that the land promises were changed under the New Covenant by Christ Himself (read Matthew 5). Jesus says in John 4:21-24

Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me that an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is of the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeks such, the ones worshiping Him. God is a spirit, and the ones worshiping Him must worship in spirit and truth.

To take passages like these and somehow force them to remain solely to national Israel is to turn Jesus’ own eschatology on its head. Jesus was clear about His intentions for national Israel when He gave His Olivet Discourse. The context preceding His prediction in that great discourse was the parable of the Vineyard in Matthew 21 and the denunciation of the Pharisees in chapter 23.

In the end, it may be the language and theology of Dispensationalists that causes them to be misunderstood. Can you blame them?